I don't like shopping. I tend to buy stuff and use it until it wears out, then try to figure out how to use it in its decrepit and flawed state.
When I finally decide to shop, I have a three step process.
1. Do I need something?
2. If the answer to question #1 is yes, can I afford it?
3. If yes to both questions #1 and #2, do I know where to get it?
If yes to #3, mission accomplished!
Because of a favorable work situation at long last, I am in the unusual position of having a few nickels to rub together, which means I can ask the Three Essential Questions of Shopping™ about what is euphemistically known as a Big Ticket Item.
The recliner I bought early this century is no longer truly usable and I need a new one.
So we have a yes to question #1 and I can make a budget to say yes to question #2. The thing is, I am not clear on question #3.
Wednesday was my birthday, and my dad, bless him, bought me a birthday lunch as usual. I asked him if he had time to drive me over to Sears a few blocks away to look at recliners and he said yes.
We went. They had one recliner on the floor.
One. And it sucked.
As my friend Mina put it so well, Iron Curtain levels of service at Western democracy prices.
Okay, that didn't work. My dad, wise in ways younger than his years, advised me I should look online first, and he suggested Big Lots, which sells a lot of stuff at low prices.
Thursday, I took BART down to BayFair and walked over to the Big Lots. Much better selection than Sears and much lower prices, but the stuff wasn't that good.
I sleep in my recliner. I need a good one.
So comes the third step in what is usually a one step process for me.
On Friday, I went to the La-Z-Boy showroom in Emeryville.
Oh. My. Lack. Of. God.
La-Z-Boy is the leader in the industry, so you might think you are getting the Toyota of recliners, but the selection is absolutely astounding and if you sit in just the right one, you will know you are in the Cadillac of recliners.
I could have written "Mercedes" instead of "Cadillac", but La-Z-Boy is an American company that still makes their product in the good old U.S.A., and they definitely know what they are doing. The quality is good, the service is impressive and the sales staff was knowledgeable and low key. I was walking around looking for chairs and I saw other customers in their perfect and near perfect chairs doing everything they could to keep from drooling.
It's reeeeallllly nice.
I have no idea what percentage of people walk into a La-Z-Boy showroom and leave with a product. I have no idea what percentage of bugs wander into a Venus Flytrap and end up lunch. I suspect the numbers are just about the same.
I sat in a lot of chairs that were in my price range, but the one I liked best was the Maverick. I went in with the idea that I didn't want a rocker, but the mechanism of a La-Z-Boy rocker is significantly better than other rocker recliners I've tried, so I was debating between the rocker and the non-rocker, which they call a Wall Saver. There were two versions of the Maverick right next to each other. The salesman who greeted me, a nice fella named Aaron, walked me away from these Mavericks across the showroom floor to a non-rocker Maverick with leather upholstery.
I sat down. I did everything I could to keep from drooling. I may not have been entirely successful.
This was the only attempt to up-sell me. It was about $300 more and I decided, with an itty bitty tear in my eye, the leather Maverick was not for me, even at the end of the year sales prices.
I am now the proud owner of a La-Z-Boy recliner. It will be delivered on Tuesday. If the ownership experience is even half as nice as the shopping experience, I am going to be happy for many years to come, especially given how little I usually like the shopping experience.
If you need a recliner, you should take a look at their selection. I perfectly understand if it is out of your price range, but if you decide to go with someone else, at least you will know what you are missing.